In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, our team is closely monitoring updates from governments across Canada as they respond to the pandemic. The following summarized the emergency measures that have been imposed in each jurisdiction. We will continue to update this summary as further measures are introduced across the country.
This roundup was last updated on March 27, 2020.
- March 26, 2020: All in person Service Canada Centres have closed (link).
- March 25, 2020: The Government of Canada has mandated an immediate 14 day quarantine for all Canadians returning to Canada as of 11:59 pm on March 25, 2020. The Government of Canada has advised that this mandated quarantine will be enforced under the Quarantine Act.
- March 24, 2020: Parks Canada temporarily suspended all motor vehicle access to all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. These measures are effective as of 12:01 a.m. on March 25, 2020 (link).
- March 19, 2020: All Canadians returning home from travel outside of Canada urged to self-isolate for 14 days.
- March 18, 2020: Government of Canada, in conjunction with the United States, closed the Canadian-US border to all non-essential travel.
- March 16, 2020: Government of Canada banned the entry of all non-Canadian or non-permanent residents into Canada.
- March 14, 2020: Government of Canada issued a travel advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada and all travel by cruise ship. Canadians were urged to return home via commercial means while they still remain available.
- Further information is available on the Government of Canada's website.
- To date the Government of Canada has imposed emergency measures under the Quarantine Act, the Aeronautics Act, and other federal legislation. It has not yet invoked its extraordinary powers under the Emergencies Act. Further information on the federal government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" series of explainers, available on our COVID-19 hub.
- March 27, 2020: Limitation periods to commence court proceedings in British Columbia have been suspended, and statutory decision-makers have been provided discretion to waive, suspend or extend time periods related to their powers (link).
- March 26, 2020: Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, issued a series of orders in response to COVID-19. First, the government established a Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit to co-ordinate goods and services distribution, and to allow the delivery of goods at any time of day. The government banned the resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and other essential supplies, and restricted the quantity of these items that may be purchased. Provincial health officer's orders may now be enforced by municipal bylaw officers. The government also suspended local states of emergency, except in the City of Vancouver. More on these orders can be found here.
- March 24, 2020: BC Ferries advised customers to avoid non-essential travel. The Province has closed certain parks and recreational areas.
- March 23, 2020: City of Vancouver passed a motion allowing the City to fine businesses up to $50,000, and individuals up to $1,000, for not following social distancing rules.
- March 21, 2020: Bonnie Henry, British Columbia's Provincial Health Officer, ordered the immediate closure of personal service establishments – like barbershops, salons, nail estheticians, health spas, massage parlours, tattoo shops and others.
- March 20, 2020: Henry ordered owners and operators of premises where food and drink is served, and retail liquor stores, that they may only provide take-out or delivery services. Holders of liquor licenses that do not provide meal service must close.
- March 18, 2020: BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, declares provincial "state of emergency" under the Emergency Program Act. The declaration will be in effect for 14 days, but can be extended. Mike Farnworth also announced that the provincial legislature would convene on Monday, March 23, 2020 to discuss amendments to the British Columbia's Employment Standards Act to protect individuals affected by COVID-19 and the measures imposed to contain it.
- March 17, 2020: Henry declared a "public health emergency" under British Columbia's Public Health Act. Dr. Henry ordered travelers who have returned to Canada on or after March 12, 2020 to self-isolate for 14 days. Dr. Henry also ordered all bars, nightclubs and pubs to close. Businesses that remain open, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, must take measures to ensure social distancing. Restaurants and cafes that cannot meet the social distancing requirement must switch to take-out only.
- March 16, 2020: Henry issued an order prohibiting owners, occupiers and operators from allowing gatherings of 50 people or more. This had the effect of closing public spaces from community centres to swimming pools and libraries in municipalities across the province.
- Further information is available on the Government of British Columbia's website.
- Further information on the B.C. government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
- March 27, 2020: Effective today, the Provincial Court of Alberta has closed all of its case management offices. The Court of Queen's Bench will allow remote commissioning of affidavits in certain situations. Alberta Transportation extended the timeline to 90 days for most drivers requiring a medical evaluation to complete their medical form when applying for or renewing their licence. The Alberta Emergency Management Agency Unsolicited Offers Program was set up in response to growing offers of generosity from individuals and organizations to help with the challenges many Albertans are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic (link).
- March 25, 2020: Government of Alberta specified the eligibility requirements to receive emergency isolation support payment; qualifying applicants will receive a one-time payment of $1,146. Further, through amendments to the Procedures Regulation under the Provincial Offences Procedures Act, peace and police officers will be able to issue tickets to enforce COVID-19 public health orders (including in relation to failure to self-isolate, mass gatherings and access at public and private recreational and entertainment facilities). Fines for violating the order have increased to a prescribed fine of $1,000 per occurrence and courts will have powers to administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence.
- March 23, 2020: Government of Alberta committed $25 million to support homeless-serving agencies in response to COVID-19. Further, the government announced an education property tax freeze, the deferral of education property tax for businesses for six months and the deferral of WCB premiums for private sector businesses (in addition to 50% WCB premium coverage for small and medium private businesses in 2020).
- March 22, 2020: Government of Alberta announced it is working to open up 15,000 childcare spaces to assist individuals providing services upon which Albertans are relying during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- March 20, 2020: Government of Alberta amended the Emergency Management Act with the result that a provincial state of emergency will no longer nullify a local (municipal) state of emergency. As a result, a provincial state of emergency can now supplement and reinforce a local authority's state of emergency. Note that a state of emergency remains distinct from a public health emergency, and has not yet been declared in the province. Further, the Government of Alberta struck a provincial economic recovery council to focus on long-term recovery from the crisis and extends a series of energy sector initiatives aimed at enhancing liquidity of energy companies, including: (i) providing 5 months of funding for the Alberta Energy Regulator; (ii) granting extensions for oil and gas agreement tenures; and (iii) extending a loan to the Orphan Well Association.
- March 18, 2020: Government of Alberta announced a series of funding and supportive measures for immediate financial relief to Alberta's families, vulnerable populations and local businesses, including in respect of: (i) emergency isolation support; (ii) utility payment deferral; (iii) a moratorium on student loan repayment; (iv) relief for ATB Financial and Alberta credit union members; and (v) a deferral on corporate income tax balance collection until August 31, 2020.
- March 17, 2020: Government of Alberta declared a provincial public health emergency. Alberta's provincial government has not yet declared a (broader) provincial state of emergency.
- March 14, 2020: Given the rapid global
increase in the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Alberta
advised that it was no longer possible to assess health risks
related to international travel. As such, it recommended against
travel outside of Canada.
- Effective March 12, 2020, all Albertans who are currently travelling outside of Canada should self-isolate on their return for 14 days, independent of the country they were visiting.
- Further information is available on the Government of Alberta's website.
- Further information on the Alberta government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
- March 27, 2020: Provincial parks remain closed and people are advised not to gather in the parks. Tenants that are not able to pay their rent during the state of emergency are expected to pay their rent in full once the state of emergency is over.
- March 25, 2020: The Government of Saskatchewan has further limited the size of public gatherings to 10 people. Additionally, effective March 26, 2020, "non-allowable business services" will be unable to provide public facing services. The Government of Saskatchewan will provide additional information clarifying allowable and non-allowable business services. Various examples provided to date, can be found
- March 23, 2020: Effective as of March 23, 2020, recreational and entertainment facilities including fitness centers, casinos, bingo halls, arenas, curling rinks, swimming pools, galleries, theatres, museums and similar facilities ordered closed. Additionally, the Government ordered the closure of all personal service facilities including tattooists, hairdressers, barbers, acupuncturists, acupressurists, cosmetologists, electrologists, estheticians, manicurists, pedicurists, suntanning parlours, relaxation masseuses, and facilities in which body piercing, bone grafting or scarification services are performed. In the health sector, the closure of dental, optometrist, chiropractic, registered massage therapy and podiatry clinics except for non-elective procedures. Day care centers may only have a maximum of eight children and if they are co-located with a long-term care or personal care home, they shall have a separate entrance.
- March 22, 2020: All persons returning from international travel or anyone in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Violation of the order may result in a $2000 fine.
- March 20, 2020: Premier Scott Moe signed an order pursuant to the provincial State of Emergency directing that all orders of the government and Chief Medical Health Officer must be followed and that law enforcement agencies in Saskatchewan have the full authority to enforce those orders. Public gatherings of more than 25 people in one room are prohibited except where two-meter distancing between people can be maintained; workplace and meeting settings where people are distributed into multiple rooms or buildings; and retail locations (ie. grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations). He ordered the closure of all nightclubs, bars, lounges and similar facilities. Take out of alcohol or food products is permitted with two-meter distancing between customers and the delivery of alcohol or food products. In-person classes in all primary and secondary educational institutions, both public and private, are suspended. Visitors to long-term care homes, hospitals, personal care homes and group homes shall be restricted to family visiting for compassionate reasons.
- March 18, 2020: The Government of Saskatchewan declared a provincial state of emergency. With this declaration, the government mandated all restaurants, bars and event venues to limit their seating to 50% capacity or a maximum of 50 people, whichever is lesser. The order also mandates the implementation of social distancing procedures in retail centers.
- March 18, 2020: Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer advised all residents to avoid non-essential international travel until further notice and strongly advised all returning travelers to self-isolate for 14 days.
- Further information is available on the Government of Saskatchewan's website.
- Further information on the Saskatchewan government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
- March 27, 2020: As of 12:01 a.m. on March 30, 2020, public gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people. Retail businesses and public transportation must ensure separation of one to two meters between persons. All non-essential travel is strongly not recommended. Employment standards are to be temporarily amended so that any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination. The Government will establish five highway checkpoints and provide information in airports to inform travelers on public health measures and the requirement to self-isolate.
- March 24, 2020: Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced that the province would be postponing all non-urgent eviction hearings at the Residential Tenancies Branch and the Residential Tenancies Commission until the end of May. All new hearings and previously scheduled hearings were included.
- March 20, 2020: Government of Manitoba declared a provincial state of emergency amidst the ongoing COVID-9 pandemic. The decision, made under the province's Emergency Measures Act, officially limits public gatherings of more than 50 people on any indoor or outdoor premise. Retail businesses, such as grocery or food stores, shopping centers, pharmacies and gas stations must ensure separation of one to two meters between patron and public transportation facilities must also make sure people assembling are able to reasonably maintain a separation of one to two meters from others. All hospitality premises and theatres are limited to 50 people, or 50 per cent of the capacity of the premises, whichever is less, and all fitness facilities are to close.
- Further information is available on the Government of Manitoba's website.
- Further information on the Manitoba government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
- March 27, 2020: Travellers returning to Ontario are required to self-isolate for 14 days. They may not visit stores, family or friends.
- March 25, 2020: The Government of Ontario released Ontario Regulation 82/20 filed March 24, 2020 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. It mandates the closure of non-essential businesses. It authorizes temporary access to a non-essential business (businesses not listed in Schedule 2), for the purposes of: performing work in order to comply with any applicable laws, allowing inspections and repairs, allowing security services to be provided, to deal with critical matters that cannot be dealt with remotely, or accessing materials that are necessary to operate remotely. It further provides that businesses are not precluded from operating remotely. Ontario Regulation 82/20 can be accessed
- March 24, 2020: Pursuant to the declared emergency, a new order was issued for health sector workers, including long-term care workers. The order allows for the redeploying of staff to or between locations, changing work assignments, changing shift assignments, deferring or cancelling vacations and leaves, employing extra temporary or part-time staff, greater use of volunteers, and the provision of new education and training of individuals in new roles (link).
- March 23, 2020: Premier Doug Ford announced the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces. This takes effect on March 24, 2020 at 11:59 PM and will continue for 14 days. The list of essential workplaces in Ontario can be found here.
- March 20, 2020: The Cabinet made an order under s. 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to suspend limitation periods and procedural time periods. The suspension is retroactive to March 16, 2020.
- March 17, 2020: The Government of Ontario
declared a provincial state of emergency to help contain the spread
of COVID-19 and protect the public. The following establishments
are required to close until March 31, 2020: all bars and
restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide
takeout and food delivery, all facilities providing indoor
recreational programs, all public libraries, all private schools,
all licensed child care centres, all movie cinemas, all theatres,
including those offering live performances of music, dance and
other art forms and all concert venues.
- The Government of Ontario also prohibited all organized public events of over 50 people, including parades, events and communal services within places of worship.
- March 17, 2020: David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, advised Ontarians to self-isolate for 14 days following their return from travel outside Canada, including the United States.
- Further information is available on the Government of Ontario's website.
- Further information about the Ontario government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
- March 27, 2020: The Government of Québec has allowed businesses to postpone filing their returns until June 30, 2020 and payments in respect of the March 31, April 30 and May 31 QST remittances, without interest or penalties. It will also accelerate the processing of requests for tax credits intended for businesses and tax refunds (link).
- March 27, 2020: City of Montreal declared a state of emergency pursuant to section 42 of the Civil protection act.
- March 27, 2020: The Ministère des Transports announced the reopening of several rest stops to support those that must travel. However, the Government of Québec still advised against non-essential interregional travel (link). As of April 3, 2020, any unsubsidized daycare that remains open must close. The Government of Québec will provide childcare, free of charge, for health workers and essential services at a subsidized daycare. More information on childcare can be found here.
- March 26, 2020: As a result of a decline in the use of public transit, Montreal and Québec City have announced that new public transit services will be reduced effective March 30, 2020. Further information on the new Montreal public transit schedules can be found here. Further information on the Québec City public transit schedules can be found here.
- March 24, 2020: Following the March 23rd order that all non-essential businesses must close, the Government of Québec added that businesses that are non-essential, excluding stores, can maintain minimal operations to ensure the resumption of their activities, bearing in mind the directives issued by public health authorities (link). Minister of Justice announced the suspension of certain time limits for penal proceedings until the declaration of a public health emergency expired, except for cases deemed urgent by the courts. Also suspended during this period are time limits to retain a thing seized or the proceeds of a sale thereof and to obtain an extension of the retention (ss. 40.4 and 40.7 of the Tax Administration Act). In addition, any search may be authorized by a telewarrant (link).
- March 23, 2020: Premier Fançois Legault announced the mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses, effective midnight of March 24, 2020. This order will remain in effect until April 13, 2020. The list of essential services and commercial activities in Québec can be found here.
- March 22, 2020: As of midnight on March 22, 2020, Québec closed all shopping malls and hair and beauty salons. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and SAQ stores will remain open, as well as stores that are accessible by an exterior entrance. All restaurants must close dining-room service, while take-out service can continue. Schools and daycares remain closed until at least May 1, 2020 (link).
- March 21, 2020: The Government of Québec renewed the state of emergency for a further 10-day period. All gatherings of people indoors and outdoors are forbidden unless it:
- Is required by a work environment that is not the subject of a suspension by decree;
- Is to obtain a good or a service from an establishment or a person whose activities are not suspended by decree;
- Is in a transportation vehicle;
- For an exterior assembly if, a) the people assembling live in the same residence, b) if one person is receiving a service from another, c) if a minimum distance of 2 meters is observed;
- Is inside a private residence for its occupants.
For the first 3 exceptions, a distance of 2 meters must be respected amongst the people gathering. By the same decree, the Government of Québec suspended all periods of time to introduce an action until the end of the state of emergency for the Tribunal administratif du Québec, the Tribunal administratif du travail, the Tribunal administratif des marchés financiers, the Commission de la fonction publique and the section jurisdictional section of the Commission d'accès à l'information. The exception to this is with respect to an action introduced following section 22 of the Labour code concerning certification of employee associations (i.e. certification of unions) (link). The renewal of the state of health emergency also has the effect of renewing, until March 29, 2020, the suspension of limitation periods and procedural delays initially ordered on March 15, 2020.
- March 21, 2020: Government of Québec adopted a decree allowing for the modification of several provisions of health sector collective agreements (link).
- March 20, 2020: Public health officials asked hotels to accommodate non-infectious minor hospital cases in order to free up beds for COVID-19 patients in hospitals (link).
- March 20, 2020: The Ministère de la Justice issued an interpretation bulletin recognizing the validity of affidavits completed remotely via technological means that meet certain conditions (link).
- March 19, 2020: Premier of Québec asked people not to travel between regions unless essential (link).
- March 18, 2020: Government of Québec suspended the education system's collective agreements in order to dispatch education personnel where needed during the crisis (link).
- March 17, 2020: Government of Québec announced delaying income tax declarations until June 1, 2020 (link).
- March 17, 2020: Emergency daycare services were extended to include more parents working in services considered essential.
- March 17, 2020: Montreal public transit adopted measures limiting interactions between staff, drivers and the public (link).
- March 16, 2020: Government of Québec announced a special allocation program of $573/week (Programme d'aide temporaire aux travailleurs) to help workers that are not otherwise compensated for isolation measures (link).
- March 15, 2020: To impede the spread of COVID-19 in Québec, the Government of Québec ordered the closure of the following businesses and public spaces until March 30, 2020: aquariums, skating rinks, bars and discotheques, libraries, sugar shacks, training gyms, dance halls and spinning, zumba and yoga centres, indoor soccer arenas, outdoor recreation centres, cinemas and games arcades, sample counters and booths in grocery and department stores, recreational sites (ski resorts, amusement parks, trampoline centres, etc.), museums, water parks, swimming pools, spas and saunas, restaurants offering buffet service, performance spaces, theatres, zoos and all other similar facilities.
- The Government of Québec also asked restaurants and coffee shop owners to limit the number of customers to 50% of the rooms' capacity, that is, to one out of every two tables. However, buffet-style restaurants and sugar shacks must close temporarily. Take-out orders, deliveries and drive-through services are permitted. The SQDC and SAQ remain open, but the number of clients must be limited in order to respect social distancing. Online orders are encouraged. For places of worship, religious gatherings of all faiths should be suspended, unless they are essential. If a gathering takes place, social distancing must be observed.
- Collective agreements between school boards and unions were modified ( link). The Ministerial Order can be found here.
- March 15, 2020: Chief Justice of Québec and Québec Minister for Justice jointly ordered the suspension of certain limitation periods and procedural periods of time pending the duration of the state of health emergency decreed on March 13, 2020. The joint order can be found here.
- March 14, 2020: Government of Québec prohibited non-essential visits to hospitals, residential and long-term care centres (CHSLD), intermediate resources, family-type resources for the elderly and vulnerable adults and private seniors' homes.
- March 14, 2020 Government of Québec recommended that people aged 70 and over stay at home and limit their movements except in exceptional situations, such as medical appointments (link).
- March 13, 2020: Government of Québec
declared a provincial public health emergency. This granted the
government the power to put in place measures aimed at ensuring the
protection of the population's health. The state of emergency
is declared for 10 days and is renewable for another 10 days
thereafter. The following measure were notably adopted along with
the health emergency:
- Education establishments must suspend their activities;
- Daycares must suspend their activities, however child care must be organized for children of healthcare workers, police, firefighters, ambulance workers, correctional services agents and special constables;
- Indoor assemblies of over 250 people are forbidden;
- Services provided by healthcare workers regarding COVID-19 by correspondence or by telecommunication are considered insured services;
- The Ministre de la Santé et des Services sociaux (Minister of Health) can make the expenses considered necessary;
- The Minister of Health and the healthcare establishments can without delay or formalities conclude the contracts which they deem necessary, notably to acquire furniture, equipment, medication or to undertake construction;
- The Minister of Health can take all other measures required to insure that the healthcare system has the human resources it requires; and
- The Minister of Health can order all other measures necessary to protect the health of the population (link).
- March 13, 2020: The Government of
Québec recommended voluntary self-isolation for 14 days for
anyone who returned from abroad on or after March 12, 2020.
- The Government of Québec also mandated isolation for 14 days for all public service employees and health care, education and daycare workers, both private and public, who return from abroad on or after March 12, 2020.
- March 13, 2020: The Superior Court and the Québec Court suspended activities except with respect to emergency proceedings.
- Further information is available on the Government of Québec's website.
Newfoundland and Labrador
- March 26, 2020: Various legislative amendments were introduced at the House of Assembly to respond to COVID-19. The potential amendments ensure that tenants of rental properties cannot be evicted if they cannot pay rent due to lost income related to COVID-19. The amendments would also introduce a variety of economic supports.
- March 25, 2020: Effective March 26, 2020, passengers travelling on provincial ferries will be restricted to essential workers travelling to their workplace, patients travelling for medical reasons and those transporting essential goods.
- March 23, 2020: Janice Fitzgerald, Chief Medical Officer of Health, ordered certain businesses to close immediately. All those announced as part of the March 18th order, were ordered to remain closed, with the additional closure of personal service establishments and retail stores (unless they provide services essential to the life, health or personal safety of individuals and animals). The new order prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people, including at funerals, visitations and weddings (link).
- March 20, 2020: Janice Fitzgerald, Chief Medical Officer of Health, ordered all individuals arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador from outside the province to self-isolate for 14 days. Individuals arriving from other provinces and territories were included.
- March 18, 2020: The Minister of Health and
Community Services declared COVID-19 a public health emergency
under the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act. The
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador ordered the closure of the
following businesses: gyms and fitness facilities, including yoga
studios, tennis and squash facilities, dance studios, businesses
that hold a license under the Liquor Control Act whose
primary purpose is the consumption of beer, wine, or spirits,
cinemas, arenas, performance spaces, and bingo halls.
- Restaurants are permitted to operate at 50 per cent capacity, as long as appropriate social distancing (2 arms' length from others) can be maintained. Gatherings of 50 or more are not permitted. This includes funerals and visitation to funeral homes.
- Further information is available on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's website.
- Further information on the Newfoundland and Labrador government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
- March 27, 2020: Health care workers that develop symptoms of COVID-19 are directed to immediately self-isolate. All school playgrounds and playgrounds associated with public housing facilities, are closed. Businesses that are allowed to be open must limit the number of customers to maintain physical distancing and must check that customers entering are not among those required to be in self-isolation. Failing to comply could result in enforcement by the Department of Public Safety or a stop-work order by WorkSafeNB.
- March 25, 2020: Jennifer Russell, Chief Medical Officer of Health, mandated 14 days of self-isolation for all individuals arriving from outside of the province. Additionally, all unnecessary travel into the province is prohibited and peace officers may turn away visitors (link).
- March 19, 2020: The Government of New
Brunswick declared a provincial state of emergency. With this
declaration, the government mandated the closure of many public
facing businesses and all businesses in retail sales are required
to stop admitting patrons. Exceptions include: grocery stores,
pharmacies, repair garages, post offices, financial and lending
institutions, retailers of fuel, hardware and automotive parts,
convenience stores, animal and fish feed providers, and corporate
and agency stores of NB Liquor and Cannabis NB. All businesses
required to stop admitting patrons are permitted to sell online,
over the phone and to arrange delivery or pick-up of purchases.
- As a result of the declaration: all food and beverage businesses reduced to take-out and delivery service only; all lounges and special facilities licensed under the Liquor Control Act will stop admitting patrons, all swimming pools, spas, saunas, waterparks, gymnasiums, yoga studios, dance studios, rinks and arenas, tennis courts, soccer and baseball fields, climbing walls, escape rooms, ski hills, golf courses, arcades, amusement centres, pool halls, bowling alleys, casinos, cinemas, libraries, museums, zoos, aquariums, barbers, hair stylists, esthetics service providers, sugar bush operations, theatres or other live performance venues will stop admitting members of the public; and schools, colleges, universities and private schools must be closed to students, online course delivery may continue (institutions with students in residence are permitted to allow them to remain in residence until they can safely return home).
- March 13, 2020: Given the vast number of countries reporting community or widespread transmission of COVID-19, the Government of New Brunswick ordered all travelers returning to Canada after March 13, 2020 to self-isolate for 14 days.
- Further information is available on the Government of New Brunswick's website.
- Further information on the New Brunswick government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
- March 27, 2020: Individuals that have been in close contact with confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 have been directed to self-isolate for 14 days.
- March 24, 2020: Premier Stephen McNeil provided clarification on essential services, which are exempt from the five-person-or-fewer gathering rules. These sectors are health, food, agri-food and fisheries, transportation, construction and manufacturing, IT, telecommunications and critical infrastructure, and public services such as fire, police and ambulances.
- March 22, 2020: The Government of Nova Scotia declared a provincial state of emergency. Effective March 23, 2020, anyone travelling into the province from another Canadian province must self-isolate. An exception would be made for those bringing critical supplies or service to Nova Scotia. Effective immediately, social gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. Workplaces and businesses may remain open, but all individuals must remain two meters from one another. Mark Furey, Justice Minister said police may enforce orders related to self-isolation and social distancing under the Health Protection Act. Breaches may lead to individual fines up to $1,000 and corporate fines up to $7,500.
- March 19, 2020: The Province of Nova Scotia, under the authority of the Health Protection Act, has required anyone who has travelled outside Canada to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
- March 17, 2020: The Province of Nova Scotia
banned gatherings of more than 50 people and ordered the following
measures effective as of March 19, 2020: restaurants are restricted
to take-out and delivery only and no in-person dining, drinking
establishments, winery and distillery tasting rooms and craft
taprooms must close, private liquor stores can continue to operate
and craft breweries, wineries and distilleries can continue to sell
their product from their storefronts.
- Closure of all Halifax Municipally owned recreation facilities, community centres and arenas.
- March 16, 2020: Closure of long term care facilities, all public schools (closed for two weeks after March Break), licensed childcare providers and casinos.
- Further information is available on the Government of Nova Scotia's
- Further information on the Nova Scotia government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
Prince Edward Island
- March 27, 2020: Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, announced all schools and daycares remain closed until at least May 11, 2020. Non-essential government services and non-essential businesses remain closed indefinitely as the situation continues to be re-evaluated on a regular basis. Travel across Confederation Bridge should be limited to necessary travel only (link).
- March 25, 2020: Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison recommended that Islanders remain on their own property while self-isolating.
- March 24, 2020: Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, announced the closure of public playgrounds.
- March 23, 2020: PEI's Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Bloyce Thompson, announced that mandatory self-isolation would be enforced. Individuals that do not comply with public health orders may be fined $1000 for a first offence, $2000 for a second offence, and $10,000 for a third offence and every offence thereafter.
- March 18, 2020: Prince Edward Island's
Chief Public Health Officer ordered the closure of all
"non-essential" businesses until further notice. Noted
exceptions include grocery stores and pharmacies. Any spaces
intended for public gatherings are being asked to close
- Non-essential business closures include: restaurants and bars (not providing take out or delivery service), theatres, gyms and recreation centres, salons and spas, tattoo and piercing studios, personal service facilities, museums, casinos, shopping malls (except that part of the shopping mall operating an essential service), bowling alleys, sporting and concert venue and retail stores.
- PEI Liquor Control Commission government-operated retail stores and PEI Cannabis retail stores closed as of 2:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020 (agency stores licensed to sell liquor and breweries will continue to operate and online and mail delivery will continue).
- March 17, 2020: The Government of Prince
Edward Island ordered the closure of all "non-essential"
provincial government services to the public including: various
provincial offices (courts, family law, legal aid, victim services,
community and correctional services are operational but public
access is limited), libraries, museums, all public schools (all
public schools closed with March break extended by an additional
two weeks), education offices, PEI early years centres and licensed
childcare centres, all Health PEI facilities closed to visitors
(including hospitals and long-term care facilities), Worker's
Compensation Board, Agricultural and Land offices.
- Dental clinics ordered closed effective March 17, 2020 for 14 days (emergencies handled on a case-by-case basis). The National Optometry Association provided guidance to its members to only take emergency appointments until further notice.
- Funerals and wakes at funeral homes ordered open for family only with no more than 20 people present.
- March 16, 2020: The Government of Prince Edward Island declared a public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Further information is available on the Prince Edward Island's
- Further information on the Prince Edward Island government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
- March 25, 2020: The Government of Yukon established a COVID-19 Business Advisory Council to ensure the needs of Yukon's business community are heard.
- March 22, 2020: Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health advised against all non-essential travel into and out of the Yukon. Residents were advised to return home now. Anyone coming into the territory must self-isolate for 14 days. Restaurants must reduce seating capacity to 50 per cent and space people two meters apart, and only offer take-out and delivery as of March 26, 2020. Bars must close. Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned (link).
- March 18, 2020: Public health emergency declared in Yukon.
- Further information is available on the Government of Yukon's website.
- Further information on the Yukon government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
- March 25, 2020: Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year.
- March 23, 2020: The Government of the NWT closed Highway 7, the Liard Highway, to all traffic as of 5:00pm on Tuesday March 24, 2020 to support the travel prohibition announced on March 22, 2020.
- March 22, 2020: Kami Kandola, NWT Chief Public Health Officer, announced that all travel into the Northwest Territories (by air and road) is prohibited with limited exceptions. Residents returning from outside the NWT from any Canadian or international destination must self-isolate in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith only.
- March 20, 2020: Northwest Territories Finance Minister, Caroline Wawzonek and Industry Minister, Katrina Nokleby, announced the territory's economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They also announced other measures including the suspension of fees at the Deh Cho Brige toll, truck permits and airport landing fees until the end of June, as well as advanced payments on resource revenue sharing for 2020 for indigenous governments.
- March 19, 2020: Northwest Territories declared a public health emergency to make it easier to enact precautions as needed.
- Further information is available on the Government of Northwest Territories' website.
- Further information on the Northwest Territories government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
- March 27, 2020: All Territorial Parks are closed.
- March 26, 2020: Travelers returning to Nunavut must isolate at designated facilities outside of Nunavut for a period of 14 days, except for critical employees who are asymptomatic. To return to Nunavut, individuals are required to get the approval of the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer.
- March 25, 2020: The Government of Nunavut reduced many public services and closed various public offices. More information can be found
- March 23, 2020: Premier Joe Savikataaq announced that travel into Nunavut will be restricted to residents and critical workers as of 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020. Everyone, except critical workers with permission from the Chief Public Health Officer, must be in mandatory 14-day isolation before they can board a plane to Nunavut. All public gatherings are prohibited, and playgrounds and municipal parks are closed (link).
- March 20, 2020: Bars have been closed. All restaurants can remain open only for take-out/delivery, with a maximum of 10 people in line ups. Anyone who has travelled into Nunavut, including from elsewhere in Canada, must self-isolate for 14 days.
- March 19, 2020: Nunavut declares public health emergency ahead of any COVID-19 cases.
- March 19, 2020: The Government of Nunavut
approved $25,000 to each Hunter and Trapper Organization for
community harvesting, and to provide food to their communities. It
also approved $531,000 to cover potential lost fees for
Nunavut's child care workers in licensed facilities.
- All restaurants open only for take-out/delivery and only up to 10 people allowed for line-ups. Pharmacies, gas stations and grocery stores will remain open.
- Further information is available on the Government of Nunavut's website.
- Further information on the Nunavut government's emergency powers, can be found on our "Can they do that?" explainer, here.
We recognize that change resulting from COVID-19 is happening in real-time. Our team will continue to monitor these developments and provide updates as necessary. If you require any assistance, please reach out to any member of our team.
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